Felipe Galvez left his wife and three children in Guatemala three years ago, working as a gardener and landscaper in Jamesport and hoping to provide a better life -- and to someday build a house -- for his family back home. That dream was cut short four months ago when he was hit by a car while riding his bicycle. When Mr. Galvez came to he found himself in a hospital bed, where he would stay for the next three months.
Today Mr. Galvez, 50, can walk, with the help of crutches, but the metal plates in his ankles and the pain that shoots up to his hip make long hours trimming hedges and mowing lawns nearly impossible. He is living off the support of his nephews, who both work in the restaurant industry, but neither has worked in weeks and money is tight. He now feels that his best bet is to return home.
"I feel very frustrated," Mr. Galvez said through a translator last week.
Sister Margaret Smyth of the North Fork Spanish Apostolate in Riverhead, said that Mr. Galvez is one of about 60 Latino immigrants who have come to her asking for help in getting back home since October. She said that the poor economy has made finding work very difficult for people working in the construction, landscaping and restaurant industries. Without a steady income, many immigrants can no longer afford their rent or food, she said. READ FULL STORY